March 31, 2014

Wonderful news, a followup to this story from March 19th where we asked for your votes of support for PFLAG Tampa.

Clearly the call was heeded, the votes came in and PFLAG Tampa has been voted by the Tampa Bay community to be the organizational Grand Marshal of the 2014 St. Pete Pride parade! That's right: this year, one of the largest gay pride events in the nation, St. Pete Pride, will be led by the largest family and ally group in the nation—PFLAG! This parade is the largest in the Southeast, attracting upwards of 120,000 people.

PFLAG Tampa is a great choice for Grand Marshal, given how active the group is in the community. The chapter holds two monthly support groups, at different locations, to support both sides of Tampa Bay. Speakers to these meetings have included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, the ACLU, the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, and speakers focused on transgender issues.

PFLAG Tampa representatives often speak at graduate and undergraduate classes at USF and UT. They have represented the LGBTQ community at two churches in Florida to urge them to become ‘open and affirming’. With USF, they are working to make USF the “go to” source for LGBT studies in Florida.

Of course, PFLAG Tampa marches in and mans booths at St Pete Pride and Orlando Pride. They spoke at the Tampa City Council meeting in support of the Domestic Partnership Registry, which was successfully passed. They worked with Equality Florida and the ACLU to turn around the negative vote, including meeting personally with commissioners.

They are charter members of the LGBTQI2-S Youth Advocacy Group, which investigates possible solutions to LGBTQ homelessness in Hillsborough County, and the LGBTQ Roundtable at The Spring, Tampa’s domestic violence shelter.

PFLAG Tampa helped the ACLU uncover problematic areas for transgender school-age youth, and to better understand these issues in order to assist them to set legal precedents. As with most chapters, PFLAG Tampa is staffed entirely by volunteers. The chapter started operating in Tampa Bay in August of 2011 and has quickly immersed itself in numerous educational and LGBT advocacy efforts in Tampa Bay.

To add to the excitement, the chapter has learned that they will get a float to be decorated as they wish. Chapter leaders and members are grateful to all who voted, and looks forward to sharing photos, videos, and more from the big event!